Memories in the Smoke

Book Two of the Mallox Series

Fiction - Womens
338 Pages
Reviewed on 02/05/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

When I started writing novels four years ago, I never dreamed it would have such a meaningful impact on my life. I searched for ways to use my personal story to help others and realized that writing fiction might be just the right medium.

My emphasis is on deep character development within storylines that expose the hidden devastation of domestic abuse and sexual violence. I use fictional characters to offer information and encouragement to those suffering in silence.

In my novels, strong female characters are challenged by their psychological struggles with PTSD, eating disorders, depression and anxiety. Throughout the series, I introduce unconventional therapy practices including equine therapy and canine-assisted therapy, which are used in conjunction with traditional methods. My hope is that my readers will relate to these characters and learn about the benefits of asking for help.

In addition to writing, I run a small non-profit service dog organization which I founded in 2013. Our dogs are partnered with therapists who work with clients experiencing the effects of trauma. Each of our dogs has their own client caseloads that they see every week.

If you are dealing with past trauma, know someone who is, or just want to learn more, I hope you'll consider reading and sharing my books. The best way to help someone is to reach out to them. That's my goal, and that's why I'm a writer.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite

In Memories in the Smoke: Book Two of the Mallox Series by Lisa Burkett, a tragic loss triggers a young psychologist’s childhood trauma. Keely Morgan is a psychologist working with Mallox Consulting, a one-of-a-kind organization that provides women who are in abusive relationships with psychological and security services. After one year working with the organization, Keely feels at home amongst her colleagues. As she is trying to recover from the physical and psychological violence she faced in their last case, she experiences a personal tragic loss that awakens her deep-rooted trauma from events in her childhood. While trying to heal from the loss, she uncovers the secrets related to the tragic events in her childhood. The more she learns, the more she feels betrayed by her closest family and friends.

In Memories in the Smoke, Lisa Burkett’s rich, descriptive writing brings out Keely’s emotions in each chapter. When reading, I felt Keely’s pain as she struggled to make sense of everything that was happening to her and her disillusionment when she learned so much had been hidden from her. The work skillfully explores the complexity of its characters and the circumstances they find themselves in. There is no specific antagonist in the book. Instead, the main characters beautifully illustrate human nature, including the difficult experiences that people go through and the challenging decisions they have to make to protect those that they love. Lisa Burkett’s Memories in the Smoke is an immersive novel that explores themes related to relationships, trauma, loss, depression, and recovery.

Sheena Monnin

Memories in the Smoke by Lisa Burkett is a touching tribute to the resilience of spirit in people who have experienced traumatic loss and have chosen to begin the challenging process of healing. This story takes the reader inside the main character Keely Morgan’s emotional journey as she processes the mystery surrounding her parents’ deaths, following questions triggered by the unexpected death of someone close to her. Keely embarks on a quest to uncover answers that have been long hidden and find the truth of her own past. She determines to help others who have experienced trauma. The author follows the grief-to-healing cycle with care and gentleness and provides intriguing and realistic plot points throughout the many moving pieces of the story. This book is a mystery story and has sprinkles of love and romance in just the right places to keep the reader emotionally engaged in each chapter.

I read Memories in the Smoke by Lisa Burkett expecting the topics to feel heavy, but the author manages to skillfully place happy moments and seedlings of hope in between the grief and sorrow of the main character, Keely. I appreciated the distinctly different personalities and motives of each character in the story and how each person’s background and temperament impact the journey of the main character. The author takes a series of heavy, difficult topics and smooths out the edges to allow for a pleasant read. Throughout the story, the reader will find themselves connecting with the humanity of the characters and the authenticity of emotion they display.

Anelynde Smit

Memories in the Smoke: Book Two of the Mallox Series by Lisa Burkett is a heartwrenching novel about the complexities of the human mind. Keely Morgan is a therapist for Mallox Consulting and takes pride in her job; her sister is her support system and her safety. However, once that safe heaven is put in jeopardy, things begin to unravel for Keely. Soon she begins to have nightmares about a life-shattering event but the smoke in her dreams always holds her back from the whole picture; there is a secret and she must find out what it is. Her search for the truth, her struggle with the ultimate loss, and her pain drive her to find out what people have been hiding from her. This story will stir and hurt, but her journey isn’t over; her life is broken as it is just beginning

I felt that Memories in the Smoke is a stunning novel by Lisa Burkett. You felt Keely’s pain and you grieve with the character. There were moments where I cried, sympathizing with the character. Her loss was like my personal loss and knowing how it feels to lose someone you loved with all your heart, this book touched me deeply. I think people will not only enjoy reading this but they will also be sucked in by this. You will want her to get better, you will find yourself rooting for her to get back on her feet, and when her Phoenix moment arrives, you will feel your heart settle and her peace is yours. This is an easy read and I loved the signs for changes in location and time. Readers of realistic drama novels will appreciate it.